Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Recognition

Recently at our church they began something called "You've Been Mugged."  Basically, the idea is that somebody (the pastor or elders, I assume) notices something that someone is doing that benefits the church and/or others, and that person gets a special "GVF" (Grace Valley Fellowship) mug.  And they print your name in the bulletin and they usually call you up to the front to accept your mug.  Pretty cool idea, huh?

Well, Audrey has kind of latched onto this.  Every week she asks me: "Mommy, when are you going to get a mug?" And I say "Audrey,  I don't really do anything much to merit a mug.... so probably never."   Basically - don't hold your breath, kid.

Now, yes, I do teach the toddler class once a month ... but there are at least 20-25 other people who teach as well.  Some more often, and more ably, than me.  And Chad and I lead a small group ... but really he is more the leader, and I mostly send a few emails and such.  Nothing big.  I try to help how I can.  But the truth of the matter is, I have 3 young kids and limited time, energy, and talent at this point.  Now, some people can have 10 kids and still manage to lead the women's ministry and teach Sunday School and host events for 100 people, no sweat.  But I am not one of those people.  So, I do the little bit I can, and I make room for my husband to do ministry at church, and I am in the background.

And I have to admit, that deep down, this sets off a whole series of {not so admirable} emotions inside of me.

It's nothing against recognizing people for their valuable efforts and service.  I'm all about that.  And the church doesn't only recognize "important" people -- they have recognized "behind the scenes" kind of people as well, which I think is especially wonderful.

I guess the problem is .... my natural inclination is to feel a bit like a nobody in comparison.

And here is the thing that irks me:  I KNOW that I am not a "nobody".  God has gifted me with a husband and children that are my primary ministry.  I feel that very strongly.  I know, I know, I know that this is what God has called me to do for now.  (Well, and forever in many ways ...)

So why the "feeling like a nobody"?

Because I am listening to the wrong voice.  When I "feel like a nobody" it is because I am believing a lie -- a lie that Satan wants me to believe.  The lie that what I do "in public" is what matters. 

The TRUTH is that God values everything you or I do that is for HIS glory - whether that is in public or in private.  Right now in my life, most of what I do is at home, just the kids and me, so it is very much "private".  But I know that God sees me.  He sees what I do (or don't do).  He knows what I am thinking about (good or bad).  And He recognizes every time I do what He has called me to do with a right attitude and thankful spirit.  In a sense, I need to think to myself that when I make the right choices and when I listen to His leading ....well then, I am receiving my very own "mug" of sorts in God's book, which is where it really matters, right? 

I say this because if you are like me, then you may also struggle at times with feeling like your "work", whether at home or church or otherwise, has value.  And I want to encourage you that YES!!  It does.  It has eternal value.  God knows our hearts and sees our deeds.  And for me that is encouraging - and convicting! - all at once. 

I read this quote YEARS ago and I had it hanging on my office wall for years as a reminder of this very thing.  My "calling" at that point was so very different.  There was no husband and there were no children at the time. But the message was and is still apropos, so I am leaving you with it today.  Here it is:

"The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world. There will most likely be no ticker-tape parades for us, no monuments created in our honor. But that does not lessen our possible impact, for there are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have a potential to turn a life around. It’s overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities there are to make our love felt."
Leo Buscaglia

3 comments:

ErinOrtlund said...

Did you ever see this article my MIL wrote? http://www.9marks.org/ejournal/young-mother-ministry-guilt-and-seasons-life

Oh, and if you're into the Myers-Briggs, I LOVE this book, http://ortlundsincanada.blogspot.com/2008/02/motherstyles.html

She even talks in the book about how many of the volunteer opportunities available for moms are much better suited to some personality types than others. She talks about deciding not to do children's ministry at church and instead writing articles for the ministry's newsletter. By the way, I also teach the small kids Sunday school, also once a month! Good to be involved, but nice not to have to do it every week.

The Raudenbush Family said...

A friend sent me this link yesterday and I really liked it -- a good reminder of our significance.

http://thegypsymama.com/2011/06/be-careful-what-you-tell-yourself-you-might-believe-it/

Hope you enjoy it too - thanks for your honesty.
Kelly

ErinOrtlund said...

That second one would be Motherstyles, written by Janet Penley. She has a website too.